Washington (CNN)Senior White House aide Dan Scavino called for the electoral defeat of vocal House Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash in a tweet Saturday, continuing the White House’s feud with the conservative group of lawmakers over its opposition to the Republican health care plan.
“@realDonaldTrump is bringing auto plants & jobs back to Michigan. @justinamash is a big liability. #TrumpTrain, defeat him in primary,” Scavino, the President’s social media director, tweeted from his personal Twitter account.
The Michigan representative quickly responded with a tweet that echoed his past criticisms of Trump.
“Trump admin & Establishment have merged into #Trumpstablishment,” he wrote. “Same old agenda: Attack conservatives, libertarians & independent thinkers.”
The exchange comes on the heels of Trump’s taking to Twitter earlier this week to call out the conservative group for not supporting his plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which GOP leaders withdrew from consideration a little over a week ago when it became clear the bill lacked the votes to pass.
Trump’s broadside of the group on Twitter, in which he told supporters “we must fight” the conservative lawmakers, underscored the growing tensions between the White House and its supporters among moderate House Republicans and the conservative GOP faction over the now-defunct health care bill.
Amash was among the Freedom Caucus members who pushed back against the President, tweeting Thursday that Trump had surrendered to the Washington swamp he promised to fight.
“It didn’t take long for the swamp to drain @realDonaldTrump,” he tweeted. “No shame, Mr. President. Almost everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment.”
The back-and-forth prompted Freedom Caucus member Raul Labrador to chime in with criticism of Scavino, asking if the tweet was an April Fool’s joke.
“U can’t possibly think this strategy is working. #draintheswamp,” Labrador wrote.
Trump highlighted an article in The New York Times on the challenges Obamacare recipients will face with their coverage, and he again expressed willingness to work with Democrats, who opposed the GOP plan, to overhaul Obamacare.
“The failing @nytimes finally gets it – ‘In places where no insurance company offers plans, there will be no way for ObamaCare customers to … use subsidies to buy health plans.'” Trump tweeted. “In other words, Ocare is dead. Good things will happen, however, either with Republicans or Dems.”
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have held conversations with several House members about a path forward to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a senior administration official and Republican official with knowledge of the discussions told CNN.
Trump continued his pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare earlier this week, telling a bipartisan group of senators and spouses at a White House reception Tuesday night, “I know we’re going to make a deal on health care, that’s such an easy one.”
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